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What a great time we had on our last Iditarod Public Library and School Talk Tour of 2019 and THE DECADE! Thank you to Grand County Public Library (Moab, Utah), Montrose Regional Library (Montrose, Colorado), Mesa County Libraries (two presentations at the Grand Junction, CO central branch and one at the Fruita branch), Bemis Public Library (Littleton, Colorado), Erie Middle School (Erie, Colorado), Erie Community Library, and Eaton Public Library (Eaton, Colorado).
TO CELEBRATE MY 20th YEAR OF IDITAROD DOG MUSHING TALKS, we’re planning a MEGA ROAD TRIP around the United States for 2020! There’s a good chance we’ll be IN YOUR AREA! For more information, email Karen at mymusher at gmail.com … or… mymusher at yahoo.com.
Great Bend Public Library, Great Bend, KS. Photo by Susan Thatcher.
Kansas Reading Roundup, Garden City, Kansas.
Kansas Reading Roundup, Hugoton, KS.
Basehor Community Library, Basehor, KS.
Jefferson County Library, Windsor Branch, Barnhart, MO.
Lemmon Public Library, Lemmon, SD.
Jefferson County Library, Windsor Branch, Barnhart, MO.
Chloe, Noggin, and I have been on the road for almost three weeks now. So far we’ve given 16 talks in Missouri, Kansas, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Lots of driving, sharing stories, dog-petting, and laughing!
Libraries are awesome in any season, but SUMMER READING is always special! We are honored to be a part of so many exciting and creative summer reading programs. Thank you, librarians!
… ENJOYS SUMMER READING!
Noggin enjoying a comfortable chair and a good book at the Elizabeth Strong Memorial Library in Turin, New York.
Soon, we’ll be heading WEST for talks in Missouri, Kansas, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
Tuesday, May 28th from 6-7 pm: Jefferson County NW Branch, High Ridge, MO
Wednesday, May 29th from 4:30-5:30 pm: Jefferson County Windsor Branch, Barnhart, MO
Thursday, May 30th, talks at 2 pm and 7 pm: Basehor Library, Basehor, KS
Friday, May 31st at 5:30 pm: Great Bend Public Library, Great Bend, KS
Thank you to all of the awesome LIBRARIANS and TEACHERS from our East coast trip! Noggin and I were honored to visit so many wonderful libraries and schools in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. WE LOVE LIBRARIES!
This upcoming May and June we’ll be visiting public libraries and schools in Missouri, Kansas, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Email us now at email@example.com to set up a visit!
This morning Noggin had a difficult time staying awake during our Skype session with students at Meeteetse Branch Library in Wyoming. I imagine the poor dog thinks I’m just sitting on the floor (in front of the computer) talking to myself! She sees no reason to participate in such nonsense.
When I’m Skyping, Chloe always looks concerned for me…
Little do the pups know how much fun I have talking with the students. Their awesome questions make the hour fly by!
…to a public library near you!
We’ve left the Atlantic and are back on solid ground in upstate New York. Come talk dogs with us at the following locations:
Tuesday, April 16th at 6:30 pm—Skaneateles Library, Skaneateles, NY
Wednesday, April 17th at 6 pm—Elizabeth Strong Memorial Library, Turin, NY
Thursday, April 18th at 6:30 pm—William B. Ogden Free Library, Walton, NY
Noggin and I really enjoyed our afternoon at the Nassau BOCES in Westbury, NY. Thanks to Donna Rosenblum for inviting us. Because of their expert technology staff and the videoconferencing studio, we were able to connect with classrooms all over the state of New York! Plus, we had an informal meet-and-greet in the conference room and had a nice turn-out. It was fun meeting everyone and talking trail… and Noggin was pleased to be able to wander the room on her own, flopping over on her side in front of those she knew were just dying to rub her belly.
Noggin was in no hurry to leave, but we had to head east to be in place for tomorrow’s talk at the Hampton Library at 1 pm. See you there!
After giving school talks all week in Connecticut, we’re back on Long Island and loving it! I had no idea the beaches here were so beautiful. Chloe, Noggin, and I had the entire place to ourselves this afternoon. We have school talks tomorrow, but if you’re in the area on Saturday at 1 pm come visit us at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, NY.
What a welcoming community! Noggin and I had a great time talking trail with the folks of Hanover, MA. We especially enjoyed the questions from the very young man who seems destined to become a medical doctor (human or animal). What happens if a dog is pregnant on the Iditarod? What if a dog gets a virus? His parents looked a little bewildered by his seemingly out-of-the-blue questions but, actually, I was thrilled to discuss some of the details of mushing.
When you’re running a big string, the dogs on the team become very close… sometimes too close (wink, wink). Mushers wouldn’t knowingly run a pregnant dog on the race but every now and then it happens without a musher realizing and then… surprise! I’ve never had a dog give birth on the trail but my main leader, Pig, was famous for running the Race to the Sky in Montana and then giving birth to an unexpected litter just weeks after finishing the 350-mile race. This was before I knew her, but that story fits with her tough-dog demeanor. She was 40-pounds of all-business.
My main leaders: Pig on the right, Lolo on the left
Also, it’s not uncommon for mushers to spay and neuter their dogs. A great portion of my kennel was “fixed” which made this, of course, a none-issue.
Viruses can sneak up on a team out on the trail. When you’re bringing together hundreds of dogs (some years, over a thousand) from all over the world, they can carry different bugs and make each other sick (think hundreds of human kids crammed together in a school building). We vaccinate and worm our dogs for everything possible, but lots of animals in a small area can still equal some sick dogs later on down the trail. Sometimes, a stomach bug running through a team can cause a musher to decide to pull a team from the race (scratch). But more often, if a musher just sits back at a checkpoint, hydrating, feeding, and resting the team for however long it takes, the dogs bounce back. Alaskan huskies are incredible athletes. They never cease to amaze those who love them and work with them.
Thanks to the young doctor for the fun conversation and to all of the other kids who thrilled me with their great questions and knowledge (the girl who said bison could be a problem on the trail… yes!). I felt like I was at a checkpoint on the Iditarod, talking sled dogs with my musher friends. Hanover has some mushers-in-the-making!